Some of the Major Dos and Don’ts of Building a Marketing Team

According to a 2018 study done by Clutch, 80% of small businesses do not invest in content marketing.

If this says anything, it’s that many small businesses desperately need direction when building up their marketing efforts. And any great marketing effort begins and ends with the strength of the marketing team deploying it.

Whether you’re a startup business that is building your marketing team for the first time or a small business that is growing and looking to do more with the marketing department, it’s important to have the proper strategy when constructing your marketing team.

In this blog, we take you through what the progression of building a marketing team should look like while providing some tips and tricks, dos and don’ts, and ideas on how to construct a proper team.

Laying the Proper Groundwork is Key When Building a Marketing Team

Before you start hiring marketing employees, freelancers or third-party vendors, you need to lay the groundwork so that your marketing team can be successful. There are a few key questions you will need to be able to answer and each answer will give direction and purpose to your marketing team. The questions are:

  • What does your product or service provide to customers?
  • What does your product or service provide to your customers that no one else can provide?
  • What does your typical everyday customer look like?

If you can’t answer these three questions, you aren’t ready to hire marketing employees.

Basic Components of a Fully Functional Marketing Team

Once you’ve laid the groundwork and can give clear direction on the high-level focus of your business, you can turn your attention to hiring the right people for your marketing department. The positions below are the basic components you need to be able to execute nearly any marketing initiative you can think of.

Marketing Director – Your Marketing Director should be your visionary leader that inspires your team and provides the high-level direction that will take your business to the next level. This position can be the lead project manager of the department depending on its size. Typically, you want this role to stay focused on high-level tasks but if the size and budget dictate so, this role can partake in the everyday-type stuff (more on that later).

Content/SEO Manager – This position can double as your creative storyteller who can convince customers you’re the right product or service with the written word and drive leads through search engine optimization. Pairing these two responsibilities is not asking too much of this role due to there being a lot of overlap in necessary skills. 

Graphic Designer – Whether it’s a print ad, logo or website, this position will make sure everything looks aseptically appealing. There are a few different types of designers, but you can typically find one that can handle most mediums. For newer departments, you may want to consider a designer who has experience building brand style guidelines and guides. Also, your Graphic Designer and Content Manager should be able to partner on handling much of your organic social media marketing.   

Web Developer – Your developer can build your website, landing pages, evolve the user experience and pretty much anything else you need built on the web. Want an app? Your developer should be able to do that too. A necessary role for any company looking to build out multiple web properties. To maximize your developer’s time, you can also charge them with operating and managing your email marketing software.

Paid Media Strategist – The old saying “gotta spend money to make money” holds true with this position. The Paid Media Strategist will get you seen in the right places. For a smaller department, you should be able to hire someone who can do a little bit of paid ad strategy in multiple areas, such as search engines, social media and traditional media.                           

I know what you’re thinking, all these salaries will get very expensive very fast. You’re right and if you don’t have the budget to support building a marketing team of this size, there are a few ways to work around this.

Pick a Few Key Marketing Areas That Fit Your Business

You might not necessarily need SEO, social media marketing, direct mail, print ads, etc. to be successful and grow. Instead of trying to do everything under the sun to market your business and none of it effectively, find a few key avenues that fits your budget and product/service. This will take some marketing research and testing but once you nail down your best marketing areas, you’ll know what positions to hire for.

Maybe you discover that search engine marketing is your best avenue and you only need a Marketing Manager, SEO/Content Manager and Paid Media Strategist. Or you’ve determined that paid and organic social media is your game. Whatever it is, it will give you clear direction on how to build a small marketing department that will be successful for you.

Utilize Your Strengths to Help Your Growing Marketing Team

Whether you’re the owner or CEO building a marketing team at your growing business or you’re the newly hired Marketing Director facing similar circumstances, you may find yourself trying to figure out how to stretch your marketing dollar.

When you’re in the leadership position, you’ll want to portion your time appropriately but if you can make the time and you have a helpful skill, it can help greatly if you stretched your time to help with an everyday role. If you can write, design, know SEO or social media, seriously consider taking it on yourself until the time required outgrows you.

Here’s What Not to Do When Building a Marketing Team

A few things here. First, do not completely rely on a marketing vendor to build your business. You at least want a capable in-house marketing manager who knows the ins and outs of your company to manage the relationship. That way, you have someone on the inside to hold them accountable.

Second thing, and this is a big one, DO NOT hire one person to do everything. If you want SEO, social media, paid ads, email, content marketing, print media, etc., hiring a “unicorn marketing guru” to do it all is unrealistic and will ultimately prove unproductive. There is not enough time in one person’s work week to do all these things well.

On top of that, these skills don’t typically overlap. A developer usually isn’t a great writer and a designer might not be the best person to manage vendor relationships. Maybe there is someone who can generally do most of these things, but just because they can do it, doesn’t mean they will truly be effective.

Be smarter. Either focus in on a few key marketing areas or get ready to open your wallet.

If you do hire a Marketing Manager to be your “one-person-show,” then provide this person with realistic expectations and clear direction. Also, make sure to enable them with a budget to utilize vendors and freelance contributors so they have some help.

To recap, make sure you lay the groundwork before hiring, focus on a few key areas that make sense for your business, hire the right fits, set appropriate expectations and step in when you can.